Thursday, April 1, 2010

April Fool!

"Use what talents you possess; the woods would be very silent if no birds sang except those that sing best." -Henry van Dyke

Henry van Dyke graduated from Princeton University in 1873 and from Princeton Theological Seminary in 1877, and served as a professor of English literature at Princeton and the University of Paris between 1899 and 1923. By appointment of President Wilson he became Minister to the Netherlands and Luxembourg in 1913. He chaired the committee that wrote the first Presbyterian printed liturgy, was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received many other honors. He sang loudly.

What’s the lesson here – that only the loudest voices and actions are noticed and listened to, or is it that you need to confidently and competently add yours to whatever activities you’re engaged in? The fact is that the former is more often true, and the reality is that more of the latter needs to occur everywhere for the best of anything to occur. That means you have to be prepared to be your best at whatever you’re doing – that’s a tall order because it means you always have to be alert and engaged and attentive to details and positive and thoughtful, and helping others to be the same. The things you’re working on today are going to happen anyways – so sing out, and lend your voice and your talents and skills and energy to make sure that whatever gets done today is as good as it can be. And unlike all those other tall tales that folks around you are telling today, this is no April Fools’ joke - it’s the truth! Welcome to April.

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